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The aims of this study were to investigate urinary macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) levels and their clinical significance in Henoch-Schönlein purpura (HSP) children with or without nephritis (N) and to assess the influence of steroid treatment on the urine MIF levels of HSPN patients.Group I comprised 35 children with HSPN who were examined twice (A before treatment and B after steroid treatment). Group II comprised 41 children with HSP. The control group included 32 healthy children. Urinary MIF levels were measured via enzyme linked immunosorbent assay. The levels of serum creatinine, blood urea nitrogen, urinary microalbumin (mAlb), and 24-hour proteinuria were performed to determine their associations with MIF levels.Urinary MIF levels were significantly higher in group I compared with group II and the control group (P < 0.01); however, no significant difference was found between group II and the control group (P > 0.05). Upon examination, albeit urinary MIF concentration was significantly lower in group IB compared with group IA (P < 0.05), these concentrations were statistically higher than that of group II (P < 0.05). In addition, in the HSPN patients, the urinary MIF was positively associated with urinary microalbumin and 24-hour proteinuria but no association with serum creatinine and blood urea nitrogen.Elevated urinary MIF levels were found to be correlated with proteinuria in pediatric HSPN. An obvious decrease in urinary MIF concentrations among the children with HSPN was associated with steroid treatment. Urinary MIF can be used as a noninvasive biomarker in pediatric HSPN.